THE pair of Ronzai Saurombe and Luca Picci yesterday put up a remarkable performance to book their place in the main draw of the Twenty Third Century Systems International Tennis Federation tournament being held at Harare Sports Club.
The main tournament officially starts today and Saurombe and Picci join Takanyi Garanganga, Mark Fynn, Tinotenda Chanakira, Martin Dzuwa and Malcolm Mutungamiri in the main draw.
Saurombe and Picci had to fight for their places in a draw of 32 and only the top eight proceeded to the main draw. They both overpowered fellow countrymen with Saurombe beating Innocent Mhere in his first match on Saturday 6-1, 6-1 and yesterday he defeated Simbarashe Mtetwa 6-0, 6-0 to progress to today's event while Picci dismissed Nicholas Fynn 6-1, 6-0 to reach the main draw.
Saurombe was happy with his play yesterday and said he is looking forward to today's match.
"I am happy with my concentration. The tournament is quite challenging because I am playing with the big boys now. I think I can do well if I focus.
"From my own point of view the guys here are solid and experienced because they have been playing for quite sometime and I have been playing in the juniors. I think I am going to have a good match tomorrow, I just need to concentrate," said Saurombe.
The 17-year-old said the competition is a learning curve for him and other local players.
"Actually this is a good experience, Zimbabwe is hosting another futures tournament after sometime it's good for us, its close and there are no expenses and we get to play.
"We can learn from watching and playing against these guys," said Saurombe.
Other players who made it into the main tournament are Stefan Merunka of Bosnia and Herzegovina who beat Botswana's Aobakwe Lekang 6-3, 6-2 while Phenyo Matong overpowered Switzerland's Jerome Benoit 6-2, 6-4.
Israel's Aviv Darmon beat Murphey Parker of United States 7-5, 7-5 while Dustin Goldenberg defeated Louis Pretorius 6-4, 7-5 from South Africa.
Lukas Marsoun dismissed Germany's Adriano Quinti 6-4, 6-2 and Aidan Talcott outclassed Sylvain Anibie of Cote d'Ivoire 6-2, 6-2. Tennis Zimbabwe administrator, Cliff Nhokwara, said it's good to see the young players managing to play beyond the qualifiers.
"It's a big bonus for Ronzai to qualify into the main draw. That's the advantage of hosting these tournaments here because across the world you would get players who participate in these events and never get a chance to participate in the main draw losing in the qualifiers because it's very tough. In other countries they can have a draw of maybe 100 but we had a draw of 32 for the qualifiers which gives a lot of our players a big advantage to qualify into the main draw," said Nhokwara.
The qualifiers were supposed to be a draw of 64, however, due to withdrawals it was reduced to a draw of 32.